(Reuters) - Bright House Networks, the sixth largest U.S. cable operator, is preparing to abandon a $10.4 billion deal to be acquired by larger peer Charter Communications Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.
Charter, the No. 4 U.S. cable operator, clinched the deal with Bright House in March contingent upon Comcast Corp’s $45.2 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc going through. Comcast walked away from the Time Warner Cable deal last month over antitrust hurdles.
Charter’s agreement with Bright House includes a 30-day provision for them to renegotiate a deal in this event. That period lapses in about two weeks. Even though negotiations are still formally continuing, Bright House, which is controlled by the Newhouse family, now believes it best to remain independent, the people said this week.
Time Warner Cable has an agreement to negotiate programming rates for Bright House, as well as share technology, in exchange for a fee, and Bright House is content with this arrangement, the people added.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Bright House Networks, Charter and Time Warner Cable representatives declined to comment.